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PEDs: Is It OK Outside of Sports?

Posted Jan 30 2013 9:00am
Back in the day, you competed w/your God-given talent(s).  If you were blessed w/more muscle mass, greater cardiac output, or better lung capacity, you had an edge up on your fellow competitor.  Of course, back then, you weren't under pressure to make tons of money either.  Sure you got paid, but many also played for the sake of the game with honor, chief among them, the late Stan Musial .  

These days, with advancement in medical science, we're able to diagnose injuries earlier & more precision, perform surgical repairs unheard of in decades past, and with improved nutrition & conditioning, extend an athlete's competitive years.  Or are we?  As it turns out, some of our heroes have also been engaging in better living through chemistry, otherwise known as performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).  And no, we're not referring to Viagra & Cialis.

Lance Armstrong recently came (kinda) clean after all these years of denial.   Mark McGwire finally admitted to use of steroids while breaking records.   Barry Bonds was convicted of obstruction of justice regarding his testimony in the BALCO trial.  And as of yesterday, Alex Rodriguez joined that notorious list, as described in an expose published in the Miami New Times , having his name mentioned several times in a log kept by an anti-aging clinic .  
But what about you & me?  We're not chasing down 7 Tour de France trophies or attempting to get into the Hall of Fame.  So in our case, there's no proscription against taking medications to improve our health (or to treat hypogonadism , andropause , menopause and even growth hormone deficiency ).  Let's not overlook the obvious which is that these professional (and some amateur) athletes wouldn't risk taking these regimens if they didn't believe in and notice some improvement.  But be smart about it if you decide that anti-aging or age management medicine is right for you.

Don't buy your medications & laboratory tests from your doctor.  They don't need to profit as middlemen.  Instead, get your legally prescribed testosterone and growth hormone (assuming your physician deems it warranted) from your local pharmacy.  CVS, Walgreens, WalMart, etc all carry these medications.  If you need to do so, go to a compounding pharmacy but there's no reason you need to buy it from your doctor!  
And be careful if your doctor tells you that s/he doesn't need to examine you, that a phone call or online survey will suffice.  In fact, federal regulations require that we meet with and physically examine you at least once a year if we're to provide ongoing care.  Think about this before you veer away from traditional medicine.
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